The Association of European Airlines has released traffic and capacity data for its members in June 2009, along with a projection for July.
The June figures, while evidently not as extreme as the minus 8.3% recorded in May, remained heavily negative. Overall, passenger volume was down 6.5% on June 2008. A very small increase was posted by traffic to/from Sub Saharan Africa, slightly higher figures on Middle Eastern and North African traffic; otherwise, all route areas were substantially in deficit.
Intra-European traffic was 6.3% down, while the North Atlantic was at minus 7.0%. The hardest-hit market was between Europe and the Far East, at -10.7%, the first double-digit traffic loss in this region since the SARS epidemic of 2003.
Seat capacity in June, at -4.9%, was close to the May figure, confirming that carriers were systematically reducing frequency, although at a rate that still did not match the weakening market. Consequently, load factors continued to decline, although the decrease, of 1.3 points (down to 77.0%) was less severe than in previous months.
The airfreight market showed no signs of revival, with a 20.7% decrease, and with both the major traffic flows - North Atlantic and Far East - posting losses more severe than this, at -21.8% and -24.9% respectively.
AEA's preliminary figures for July, based on weekly reports, open a new panorama. The negatives are still very much in evidence, but on a reduced scale, with an indication for the month of minus 2.2%.
The provisional July figures also show capacity reductions at a lower rate than in May/June, at around 3%, but at last sufficient to counteract the market decrease and drive a small improvement in load factor.
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